Friday, 8 November 2013

Up, up, though not quite away...

Radipole Lake as most birders know, is and always has been a good place to look for Bearded Tits. Working on the site I see them most days though birders seem to, on a daily basis, have real trouble in finding this species. So just to grip people off, here are a few Bearded Tits from yesterday taken just a few yards from the visitor centre...

Ok, that was mean. Sorry. But here’s something interesting about the two birds. Take a lot at the eye colour of the two males. Ones got an orange tinge to it and the other is much greyer. Unlike lots of other passerines, Bearded Tits go through a full post juvenile moult so trying to age them in the autumn is impossible on plumage. But I think looking at these two images it may still be possible in the autumn. The greyer bird most likely being a bird hatched this year and the other being an adult. Only just noticed this and not sure it’s something that’s 100% right every time but interesting none the less.

There are plenty at Radipole at the moment, lots of which are still thinking about leaving the site.

This group of 8 left the site completely but over an hour later a flock of 8 fell out of the sky back into the reedbed. I can only assume that it was the same flock who’d been for a tour of Dorset before popping back to Radipole again. Not long after the 8 went for their trip a pair also left. Half hour after the 8 arrived back presumably the same pair also dropped back into the reeds. Fascinating behaviour!

Just a quick mention for the Med Gulls. They continue to pile in and lots of ringed birds are now showing up. Got 11 ring number yesterday including the Italian bird from a few days ago. Here’s a rubbish shot of the fella.

This thought came to me after chatting to Dave Chown this morning. The Italian bird showed up at the same time as the Serbian bird. I wonder if they travelled up together given that they both come from the same part of the world?? Thanks Dave for mentioning that earlier!

1 comment:

  1. Probably worth reading the paper by John Wilson and Ian Hartley on the Leighton Moss Bearded Tits.

    "Changes in eye colour of juvenile Bearded Tits (Panurus biarmicus) and its use in determining breeding productivity", Wilson, John and Hartley, Ian R. (2007) Ibis, 149 (2). pp. 407-411

    David Norman,
    Merseyside RG